#WWWWednesday: 05 August

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish a surprising five books!

The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology) by A.J. Vrana ★★★☆☆
As The Ultimate Chicken™ this book was completely out of my comfort zone but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Apparently all the horrifying things happen in small towns, right? The small town secrets and folklore were definitely terrifying in this one! If you like a dark fantasy with paranormal elements this will definitely be up your alley. Read my full review!

Frostheart (Frostheart #1) by Jamie Littler ★★★½
I absolutely loved that the whole story was illustrated because it helped bring this ice covered world to life. My heart really felt for Ash and his longing to find a place where he belonged and the people who would accept him in spite of his dangerous legacy. It was a heartwarming and sweet read full of adventure that I think many young readers will enjoy. Review coming soon!

A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens ★★★☆☆
This was very different to what I expected. Laurens does paint a very eerie small town atmosphere but it didn’t end up being as scary as I thought it’d be. It was also a much heavier read that covers intense and difficult topics that can be potentially triggering for many. Read my full review and see the full list of content warnings the author shared on her website!

The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas ★★★★☆
To steal Emer’s term, this was a fantastic popcorn read. It was a space opera reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy, Aurora Rising and Illuminae Files (imho). I loved the awkward, quirky and dry banter between our found family crew and the story left me feeling extremely comforted. It was such a fun and fast-paced story 💙 Read my full review!

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2) by Chloe Liese ★★★★★
I absolutely adored this romance and it had me swooning through the whole read. Give me more empowering couples who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and open with each other, who don’t suffer from the typical miscommunication issue in many romances and don’t devolve into immaturity. Frankie and Ren were the romance couple I didn’t know I needed. Read my full review!

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Review: Always Only You by Chloe Liese

Thanks to author Chloe Liese for providing the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2)
Publication date: 04 August 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Panda Rating:



Ren
The moment I met her, I knew Frankie Zeferino was someone worth waiting for. Deadpan delivery, secret heart of gold, and a rare one-dimpled smile that makes my knees weak, Frankie has been forbidden since the day she and I became coworkers, meaning waiting has been the name of my game—besides, hockey, that is. I’m a player on the team, she’s on staff, and as long as we work together, dating is off-limits. But patience has always been my virtue. Frankie won’t be here forever—she’s headed for bigger, better things. I just hope that when she leaves the team and I tell her how I feel, she won’t want to leave me behind, too.

Frankie
I’ve had a problem at work since the day Ren Bergman joined the team: a six foot three hunk of happy with a sunshine smile. I’m a grumbly grump and his ridiculously good nature drives me nuts, but even I can’t entirely ignore that hot tamale of a ginger with icy eyes, the perfect playoff beard, and a body built for sin that he’s annoyingly modest about. Before I got wise, I would have tripped over myself to get a guy like Ren, but with my diagnosis, I’ve learned what I am to most people in my life—a problem, not a person. Now, opening my heart to anyone, no matter how sweet, is the last thing I’m prepared to do.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

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Top 5 Saturday: Enemies to Lovers…

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you might’ve noticed that I’ve been unexpectedly MIA for a while now. Life has been… Life? No excuses but if you want to read me waffle on about it, check out my smol life and reading update post. On that note, I’m looking forward to getting back into the groove and a perfect way to do this is to start doing my regularly weekly memes (that I’ve missed so much)! Glad to be back with…

Another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: enemies to lovers.

I used to be embarrassed to admit that I’m a big fat hopeless romantic but… I am indeed a big fat hopeless romantic. GIVE ME ALL THE LOVE and I will (probably) love it! I think I’ve only really taken the time to notice this year just how much romance I read and the enemies-to-lovers trope is one of my all time favourites! I mean, who doesn’t love the delicious tension that builds between two characters who, deep down, have all these feelings for each other that they don’t know what do with until one day it finally explodes? Not to mention all the hilarious, snarky banter that’s usually a staple in our protagonists’ exchanges? Just thinking about it gets me giddy with excitement and anticipation! Safe to say, I’ve read my share of enemies-to-lovers but I’ve still got plenty on my TBR! Here are five of them that I hope to read ASAP:

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

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#TopTenTuesday: Most Anticipated Releases 2nd Half of 2020!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: most anticipated releases for the second half of 2020.

Well… Considering I have 100+ books marked as 2020 releases, it was definitely… “fun” narrowing it down to just ten for today’s list 🤣 Yes, we should all already be aware of the fact that I have a very problematic relationship with that ‘want-to-read’ button on Goodreads–it’s all too easy to click! Adding books to my already endless TBR only ever became a problem when I joined the book community and I really don’t foresee this problem going away any time soon (unfortunately for my TBR and savings)! Obviously this list of ten is a smol peek at the books I’m looking forward to getting my grabby hand son, but they are the ones that came to mind first. I’m so excited for some of these I can’t even! Also, I tried to mention books that haven’t made an appearance in my more recent posts (even though I’m definitely still very excited for them–especially Cemetery Boys and Cinderella is Dead!)

(book covers are linked to Goodreads pages!)

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#WWWWednesday: 24 June

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish four books. The majority of my reads are still for blog tours, which I’m surprised to have completed well ahead of my dates this week, but I also read two romances because my mood told me to!

The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2) by Kalyn Josephson ★★★½
This was a really satisfying conclusion to this duology. We get more strong friendships, some character growth, intriguing revelations, an awesome battle, and plenty more crow magic with a cheeky little crow that will steal your heart. Friday is my stop on the blog tour so be on the look out for my review then!

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne ★★★½
I picked this up immediately after the lovely Emer suggested it in part one of her rom com recs. This was my second book by Layne and I thoroughly enjoyed it! This was easy to speed through in one sitting and was great for a laugh. I loved the characters and there was just the right amount of angst. Although the ending felt rushed and “too easy” this was still a fun romcom with great banter and quirky characters. Review coming very soon!

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne ★★★½
I decided to read another book by Layne after finishing Walk of Shame and again, this was easy to quickly devour in one sitting. The level of angst in this one was a bit higher but the chemistry was undeniable and the antagonistic banter was just as good! I loved our hero, Nick 💜 Although this is book four in a series it can definitely be read as a standalone because I didn’t read the other three before this. Review coming very soon!

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick ★★★½
I have to admit to being a bit disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I’d hoped especially with the ‘big reveal’/ending. It’s said to be for fans of Sadie and while I get it with the mixed media format, that was a bit of the extent of it. I was surprised by how eerily atmospheric Frick’s writing was though and this was definitely not the typical sunshine and wealth Hamptons that we’re used to seeing. Although I struggled at the start, once the pace picked up I sped through it. I know I’m in the minority with my opinion though and I think it’ll be a big summer hit. My stop on the blog tour is TOMORROW so be sure to look out for my review then 😉

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First Lines Friday – 19 June

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“I have a fatal flaw.
I like to think we all do. Or at least that makes it easier for me when I’m writing–building my heroines and heroes up around this one self-sabotaging trait, hinging everything that happens to them on a specific characteristic: the thing they learned to do to protect themselves and can’t let go of, even when it stops serving them.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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First Lines Friday – 15 May

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“You can’t put a price on finding love. If you could, it wouldn’t be £10. I’ve been playing the dating game for a while now but I just can’t seem to complete it — and I’m usually so good at games. No matter which level I try, there’s always a hole to fall down or a monster to eat me — metaphorically speaking, of course, although with dating apps you only ever feel a few bad decisions away from ending up in someone’s freezer.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 15 May”

April Monthly Wrap Up!

To say that April was a bit of a wretched month for reading would be a bit of an understatement. Echoing the sentiment that many fellow bloggers have been saying in their wrap ups, while March felt like it crawled by, April was pretty much gone in a blink. I’m honestly not mad about it though. I’d ideally like to have a do-over of this shite month, but it is what it is. By now we all know that my reading took a huge nosedive this month is mainly because of Animal Crossing New Horizons… I had no idea how dangerous this game would be for me as I let my sister convince me to finally buy it–not that it was very difficult, mind you.

So here we are today… With the first exams I’ve ever failed in my life (O.W.L.s), a seemingly unscalable (e)ARC Mountain still to climb, and a total of seven books read this month. At least I have a nice (in game) island though, right? 😅

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Series Mini-Review: Loveless Brothers by Roxie Noir

I’m back with some mini-reviews of another romance series that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed! I didn’t end up loving the characters as much as hoped I would but all of the books did have me laughing out loud and at one point or another gave me that *swoony* feeling.

I’d give the Loveless Brothers series a ★★★½ average based on my rating of each book.

Enemies with Benefits (#1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Panda Rating:

I don’t love him. I don’t even like him.
I just want him.

Eli Loveless was my nemesis from the first day of kindergarten until we graduated high school. Everything I did, he had to do better – and vice versa. The day he left town was the best day of my life.
Ten years later, the day he came back was the worst.
Now he’s my co-worker.
Grown-up Eli Loveless is sexy as sin. He’s hotter than asphalt in the summer. The irritating kid I once knew is gone, and he’s been replaced by a man with green eyes, perfect abs, and a cocky smile.
It’s bad that I want him. It’s worse that he wants me back.
There are looks. There are smirks. There are smiles that make my panties burst into flame.
And then there’s a shared kiss that leads to the hottest night of my life.
This is no office romance. This is a five-alarm fire.
What’s a girl to do when the man I can’t stand is the one I can’t stop lusting after?
Enter into a friends-with-benefits agreement, of course.
No dates. No relationship. Just blisteringly hot sex, because if there’s one person I could never fall for, it’s Eli.
…right?

Continue reading “Series Mini-Review: Loveless Brothers by Roxie Noir”

Review: Donut Disturb (Donut Disturb #1) by Melissa Williams

Goodreads: Donut Disturb (Donut Disturb #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

A STANDALONE romantic comedy from author Melissa Williams. A hot cop and a donut baker, what could go wrong?

It was a donut emergency. A dough or die moment. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. It would explain why, from the moment Baxter DeCavhalo comes crashing into my kitchen, I’ve been acting out of character.

Why I’m sharing secret donut recipes, licking frosting off fingers that aren’t mine, and falling for the off-limits neighbor. I know better, I need to be focusing on my bakery and my next donut creation…but there’s just something about Bax that keeps me coming back for more. It’s not the heat of the kitchen that’s getting to me, it’s Bax. And this slow burn is about to combust.

I was looking for a light and fluffy romantic comedy when I came across this book and it sounded just like what I was looking for. It didn’t hurt that it also has such a colourful and eye-catching cover! I was sold. Unfortunately, this book was not it and it didn’t work out for me.

The plot and character arcs felt very underdeveloped because everything seemed to happen off-page. There were many allusions to “something not being right” with the friendships and sibling relationships, and that’s even before we get into the police drama that stems from Bax’s work as a police detective. It felt like there was a lot happening in the story but at the same time, not much either, if that makes sense. There were no discussions to try to solve those “not right” feelings with her brother and her best friend, although something was clearly up. It all came across as very vague.

I also didn’t connect with our heroine or hero. Cassidy seems to have a history of being hurt and so has built up her walls; however, we never really learn about what made the walls go up in the first place. Again, hints of her history are dropped but we don’t get any details. Of course these walls end up being a barrier to whatever is going on with Bax, but after some not-very-nice hints from her best friend about her inability to trust anyone, Cassidy simply decides that she’s going to let Bax in… And she does it. Despite a rough meet-cute for our characters, Bax became very quickly “all-in” with Cassidy. He decides at one point during their second interaction that he wants all or nothing, and he’s going to make Cassidy realise that he’s serious about them. I didn’t get it. Yeah, she’s quirky and makes delicious donuts but… That’s it? Don’t tell me he’s all in, show me why! I felt very little chemistry between them and that made their steamy scenes also fall flat for me.

Overall, a fairly disappointing read. It just never clicked for me and that’s disappointing because I was expecting more… Even the part about the bakery, which I thought would leave me with endless donut cravings, didn’t even really do that… I’m glad that I did give this a try though–I don’t think I could’ve resisted such a cute cover for very long, but I’m also glad it was on Kindle Unlimited!

Have you read Donut Disturb or is it on your TBR?